Ranked-choice voting is a system that gives voters the option to rank candidates running for an office in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated and the supporters of that candidate have their support reassigned to the remaining candidates, based on their second-choice preferences. This process continues until one candidate emerges with a majority of support.

I am going to confine my argument for this system to two things.

First, ranked-choice voting will encourage sincere voting. This means that voters can support their favorite candidates without the fear of unintended consequences, like splitting the vote.

Second, ranked-choice voting is constitutional.

As a Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians, my argument for constitutionality is simple. Ranked-choice voting ensures a majority vote and by definition, a majority vote is always a plurality vote. Therefore, ranked-choice voting satisfies the test in Maine’s constitution, which requires that elections are decided by at least a plurality vote.

The current “winner-take-all” system is not healthy for representative government. Over the last 40 years, we have seen this system elect a governor with a majority of the vote only twice. These circumstances have weakened leadership and decreased voter faith in their elected representatives.

With these points in mind, I urge readers to vote for ranked-choice voting this November.

Carl Pease


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